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Wikimania 2007 Taipei :: a Globe in Accord

This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2007 (Index of presentations)

How to Effectively Deal with Disputes

Author James Hare
Track Wikimedia Community
License GNU Free Documentation License (details)
About the author
James Hare (Messedrocker) is a student from the northeastern United States and an enthusiast of Wikipedia and the wiki model in general, and nothing more. His involvement on Wikipedia dates back to 2004, where he has seen editors come and go, major changes in article styling, and a general improvement of the entire site. This instilled in him the belief that over time, a community will learn to evolve itself. Yet as it grows, it will run into new problems; this is not surprising, as change can be difficult. Hare's presentation, How to Effectively Deal with Disputes, will recollect his experience and ideas about how to deal with a quarrelous mob.
How to Effectively Deal with Disputes will provide basic groundwork with dealing with disputants on Wikipedia, such as the basic communication boards, as well as more intricate details on how to make dispute resolution work. Presenter James Hare will share past experiences with dispute resolution and the audience will get the opportunity to share theirs.

All too often, many content issues on Wikipedia arise from even the simplest issues. If improperly handled, these disputes become edit wars, and these edit wars become Arbitration Committee sanctions. It is imperative that the editing environment of Wikipedia is friendly, warm and welcoming, as this is attractive not only to existing users, but newcomers as well. If a tense situation is handled not only appropriately but well, hostile situations will fade into the past and editors will be able to move on without further grievance.

The purpose of this presentation is to inform administrators and other users (especially prospective administrators) of the importance of resolving disputes with very little drama and wiki-political fallout. Presenter James Hare, Wikipedia administrator, will discuss the proper methods of dealing with active disputes on Wikipedia, including the appropriate discussion and procedural pages. Additionally, advice of dealing with disputants, unruly or otherwise, will be shared.

After the basic groundwork has been covered, there will be a greater emphasis on the subtle details that make up effective dispute resolution. Information to be shared includes how to approach tense situations with a calm countenance and address them with the intent of pleasing everyone, as well as how to “think outside the box” when considering resolutions. Important things to avoid, such as aggravating disputants or imposing improper blocks, will be shared.

As an experienced informal mediator, Hare will share prior experiences with disputes resolution. Following the presentation, the audience will be able to share prior experience with disputes as well as how they dealt with it. By the end of the session, it is intended that the audience will walk away with a better idea of how to handle disputes effectively, efficiently, and with the most amount of success possible. If this makes the atmosphere of Wikipedia friendlier, then it will have been worth the while.

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